Clouds – “USB Islands” – [Ramp Recordings]
Samuli Tanner and Tommi Lanka better known by their moniker, Clouds (not to be confused with Scottish duo of the same name), are an electronic music project hailing from Finland. This release came out on RAMP (Records Are My Pillow) Records which in the past has hailed releases from artists such as Zomby, Actress, SBTRKT, and FatyDL (at one point even amalgamating them into a collection for the label’s 50th release) so it’s fair to set expectations high on this “mini-album” as it’s frustratingly categorized.
USB Islands adds to Clouds’ growing catalog of unique bass music which refuses to pigeon-hole itself into any one genre. The release has a clear aesthetic which is elegantly accomplished while paradoxically keeping a loose hold on the production style. Clouds maintains a dark and contemplative vibe with tracks like, ‘You Go to my Head,’ and ‘Four Hands,’ which follow in the style of traditional IDM, dub-step, and garage then move into more experiential club-friendly territory with the Jersey club style, ‘I’ll Be Broke’. The album’s steady focus keeps the genre-melding in line making it a solid release from start to finish.
The remixes on this release deserve mentioning as well. Each remix artist was able to create a distinctly different track compared to it’s original which fell seamlessly in place at the end of the album. The Amen Ra remix of, ‘You Go to My Head’ is an especially captivating track which creates an entirely new club-friendly more bass-heavy take on it’s original.